After a new campus carry law goes into effect next month, UT-Austin faculty and staff will be allowed to ban guns from their offices, the UT Board of Regents ruled Wednesday in a 7-2 vote. The regents also voted down one of the university’s 26 recommendations—a provision that would have banned concealed handgun carriers from having a loaded chamber.
The decision to allow faculty discretion on guns in offices agrees with recommendations submitted by UT president Greg Fenves. Fenves said that the loaded chamber prohibition would reduce the risk of accidental shootings, while board chair Paul Foster argued that it would have the opposite effect. “There is more danger in moving bullets in and out of the chamber than just leaving the gun loaded,” Foster said. The board voted 6-2 to allow a bullet in the chamber.
The meeting also included a heated discussion on how faculty who choose not to allow guns in their offices will communicate that to students, with regent Alex Cranberg arguing that all gun-free zones, including offices, should be marked with signs. That motion failed, however.
At a press conference following the meeting, Fenves declined to voice an opinion on the regents’ decisions.
“Sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree,” he told reporters. “My job is to carry out the policies.”
The regents did not amend any of the campus carry rules for other institutions in the UT System.
Editor’s note: The Texas Exes supported an opt-out provision for SB 11 in the 84th Legislature.
Photo by Anna Donlan
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